Saturday, June 4, 2011

Got Next: Bubba Starling

The RFH Collective loves to see who is coming up the ranks in all of our favorite sports. That is why we created the "got next" segment. This is our second player profiled. The first was Anthony Davis.
Bubba Starling is a Hero, Gentleman, and Scholar
I have a confession to make. I have not followed baseball at all since the Red Sox traded away Manny Ramirez. Fortunately, the Widdoes side of The Collective has been able to carry the MLB banner on our blog. Although I have stopped following Baseball, one story caught my eye earlier today. The story involved a young man by the Name of Bubba Starling from the Kansas City suburbs. He is slated to be a top 10 pick in the MLB draft, but what drew me to him was his throw back versatility. In a day and age where athletes specialize in a sport from an early age, Starling is a rarity. He has excelled at football, basketball, and baseball. How much did he excel? Lets take a look.


Football
Starling played quarterback (waste of words) and was able to use his 6'5 200 lbs frame and prolific (4.5) speed to amass amazing rushing statistics. In his senior year alone, Starling gained 2,377 yards on 188 carries. He earned a four star rating from Rivals.com only because his team did not throw often. Although the internet  recruiting sites underrated him, Starling was still named an Army All-American and signed a national letter of intent with University of Nebraska. Here are some of his football highlights.



Basketball
Although basketball is Starlings worst sport, he still scored over 28 points per game during his high school senior season. Take a look at some of the awesome dunks he throws down in the video below.

(Start at 3:15)

Baseball
This is where Starling really excelled. He hit a home run every six at bats during his senior season and is a legitimate five tool player at center field. He would be projected as the top pick in the draft if it wasn't for the fact that he is represented by Scott Boras and that he might go play football at Nebraska. Here is his baseball evaluation from ESPN.com.


Starling is the best athlete, bar none, in this year's draft, and one of the best in any recent draft. He's a two-sport standout staring at a choice between pro ball (and a signing bonus north of $5 million) and a scholarship to play quarterback at Nebraska (and risk serious injury before he gets paid a dime -- I'm just sayin', Bubba).
If you want five tools, this is the place to shop. Starling has explosive bat speed and above-average raw power that will become plus in time; right now, he tends to drift forward at the plate, robbing himself of a little power because his weight is on his front foot too early. He's a plus-plus runner who led all players at last year's Area Code Games in 60 times, and it translates to easy range in center. I've seen him hit 92 off the mound and his throws from the outfield get good carry, although he needs to make sure he sets his feet before throwing.
You could make a very good argument for Starling as the first overall pick in the draft even though he's a little raw as a hitter, and if he'd sign for slot he'd be gone by the third pick. Because he has a scholarship in another sport, the team that takes Starling can spread out his bonus payments over five years, which should open his market a little more. The last player I can think of like Starling in the draft is Josh Hamilton, who was more physical and a better present hitter at the time he was drafted but not quite the same runner as Starling is. No matter what your comp is for Starling, he has superstar potential to a team willing to pay him and wait for him to develop.

Decision Time
Unfortunately, Starling now has to finally specialize. Before he does, The Collective would like to give three cheers to this American hero.

1 comment:

John Hendrie said...

I need a slice of apple pie after reading this gem.